The state of Louisiana recently released a new draft Coastal Master Plan and now is your chance to let state officials know what you think. Last week Gulf Restoration Network and our community-based partners attended the four public hearings on the Coastal Master Plan.
A portion of this plan is focused on efforts to reduce flood risk in communities through tools like home elevation, floodproofing and voluntary relocation - which the state refers to as its “non structural program.” Funding a non structural program that prioritizes low-income community members and those most at risk came up again and again in public comments. At some meetings nearly half of the statements were about supporting a more robust non structural program that truly protects our coastal communities.
The communities most at risk of flooding from sea level rise and land loss have not been given access to the resources they need to protect themselves in this draft plan. Floodproofing, home elevation and voluntary relocation programs need funding.
Last year GRN released our Resettlement Zone maps, and a companion document to help explain them, to raise awareness of who is being left out of our Coastal Master Plan. These maps show areas that have been declared “resettlement zones” by the state of Louisiana. In the draft Coastal Master Plan the state is saying that community members in those areas should seek “voluntary acquisition,” or buyouts, from the federal government… but there’s not a plan to help those most at risk.
We all know that we are past the point where levees and coastal restoration are enough to protect communities. Louisiana’s coastal communities are at risk of getting washed away from rising seas, flooding and storm surge.
You can have your voice heard by signing our petition to the Governor here.
If you want to see what GRN and our partners will be submitting to CPRA, take a look at our demands.
Louisiana is facing the highest rate of land loss in the world, and we here at GRN intend on standing with communities most at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods along our coast.
Johanna de Graffenreid is GRN’sCoastal Campaign Organizer.